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A Year in Smart Politics

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A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013

ushouseseal10.pngFor new readers of Smart Politics, this end-of-the-year report offers a slice of how the data was carved up at Smart Politics in 2013 across the more than 200 reports published on the site this year.

The plurality of coverage centered on the U.S. House of Representatives, with 73 reports focused on that institution, or 34 percent of the year's content.

A sampling of such stories includes:

· Western Women: Regional Gender Disparities in Congressional Representation

· To Serve or Represent? Website Taglines of US Representatives

· Meet the Three House Women Who Go by "Congressman"

· African-American US Representatives by the Numbers

· Running from the Flag? Old Glory Symbolism Waning on US House Campaign Websites

Sixty-three reports discussed developments in or campaigns for the U.S. Senate (30 percent) such as:

· The Longest-Held Republican US Senate Seats

· US Senate Special Elections by the Numbers

· Unusual Entrances: Clergymen Turned US Senators

· Harry Byrd's Death Leaves 167 Living Ex-Senators

· The Third Wheel: States with the Most 3rd Party US Senate Candidacies

Some reports focused on members of both legislative chambers:

· Clockwatchers: Capitol Hill Republicans Showcase 'Debt Clocks' on Websites

· Unusual Exits: 6 Members of Congress Killed by Accidental Gunshots

· 64 Percent of 9/11 Legislators Are Out of Congress

Forty-two reports addressed governorships or upcoming gubernatorial contests across the country (20 percent):

· The Most Competitive States for Gubernatorial Elections Since 1900

· The Five-Timers Club: Gubernatorial Edition

· The Top 50 Longest-Serving Governors of All Time

· 7 Gubernatorial Election Double-Takes

· Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

· Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Another 26 reports focused on the presidency (12 percent):

· Who's #1? The Media's 2016 Republican Field

· The Death of Presidents: Beware of June and July

· Obama Has Mentioned Terrorism Nearly 1,500 Times as President

· Presidential Commencement Addresses: Notre Dame Reigns

· George H.W. Bush: Hater of Broccoli

· Pollsters Ignoring Rick Perry's 2016 'Campaign'

An additional four percent of reporting addressed other political offices or institutions.

The plurality of Smart Politics reporting in 2013 focused on national politics, regional politics, or politics and campaigns across multiple states (79 reports, or 37.1 percent).

However, stand alone reports were also written on political developments in 37 different states led by Smart Politics' home state of Minnesota (33) and followed by South Dakota and Wisconsin (eight each), Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania (six), Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia (five), and Kentucky, New Hampshire, and New Jersey (four).

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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